By Shannon Teoh
KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Putrajaya’s move to spend RM8 billion more for subsidies has led the opposition to accuse the government of using public funds to benefit cronies instead of the public.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) pointed out while debating the supplementary supply bill that the sum was nearly 40 per cent more than the original allocation in Budget 2012, specifically pointing to the increase in sugar and toll subsidies as “ensuring the profitability of crony companies.”
“I am certain in this case, the profit to the crony companies is excessive,” the opposition leader said of the RM343 million added to the initial RM446 million to subsidise tolls.
He also said that as Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary’s Tradewinds is one of two companies that control the local sugar market, the RM367 million added to the RM200 million allocated under Budget 2012 was not proportional to the actual increase in sugar prices.
“We want to know who actually benefits from these subsidies. They say it’s for the public. Show us what are the profits of these companies,” the Permatang Pauh MP said.
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